Just something I saw the other day.
This is possibly the most horrible snapshot I've ever posted on TOP—a quick phone snap through glass, done casually. I'm appreciative of how good a photographer I can be sometimes, but I'm never surprised by how bad I can be. (Cf. this classic post.)
Please just look at the content here, not the photo. Holy crappy snaps, Batman.
Anyhoo. The Canon 10D came out in early 2003 and sold by the boatload. It was the Toyota Camry of cameras—the leading midline DSLR from the leading maker of DSLRs when DSLRs were at their hottest. It had all the pixels anybody could need—six million—at a time when most photo buffs could easily recall sub-megapixel cameras.
And it was very keenly priced at $1,500. Hot ticket.
...And a great camera. I almost got to use one. I had a friend who, in the mid-2000s, wanted to replace his 10D, and he offered to send it to me to try before he sold it. But I never got the chance. An opportunity presented itself and he decided he had to strike while the iron was hot, sell it while he could still get a decent chunk of money back out of it. My memory (never great when it comes to numbers) is that he got $1,050.
So when I saw this at a local camera store it made me think of that.
Use 'em up
If it's any consolation, there are actually better ways to make money disappear into nothing. You know the old yachting plaque: "A boat is a hole in the water surrounded by wood into which one throws money." And of course there's the champion of making money disappear, high-end stereo, where you can actually pay much more for less and then watch it become less than less, almost in front of your very eyes.
The lesson is, I guess, that digital cameras are well worth what they cost...but only if you use 'em up. You've got to make sure they give back to you sufficiently. They don't have but so much shelf life. The clock is always ticking.
And how much they give back is up to you.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Bryan Willman: "Not even boats compare to the money-vaporizing effects of motorsports. Remember, a big time racing campaign is a turbocharged bonfire fueled with $100 bills. At least with cameras, you get more than one season to use them up...."
Mike Shwarts: "I bought 10D a few years ago. As long as I keep the ISO setting at 400 or below and a decent lens out front, it produces good images. I'll keep it till it no longer works."
Paul Nakroshis: "That 10D was the camera that made me sell my Canon 10s film camera and move to digital. Then it was on to the 1D mark II, and finally the EOS 1Ds Mark III, which I just sold on Ebay because I purchased a Fuji x100T and decided to completely abandon Canon for Fuji. —Paul, Peaks Island, Maine."
c.d.embrey: "Digital cameras are consumer electronics—every last one of them. Use them until they die, or stop being useful, which ever comes first."
Robert Harshman (partial comment): "Anything that is a computer drops in value by at least 25% per year if not much faster. Even most charities will not accept modern electronics—read computer based electrical device—if they are over three years old. I just purchased a new supercomputer to deal with the Canon 5D3. In three years it will be worth 1/5 or less of what I paid for it.
"This is what happens when technology is moving as fast as it is in the digital age. The rabid depreciation of camera bodies is just getting started, the cliff is getting higher, and the rate of throwing existing bodies over the cliff is rapidly increasing."